Mumbai-based gaming company Nazara has acquired Hyderabad’s OpenPlay Technologies Private Limited for INR 186.41 Cr. According to the filing, Nazara will acquire 23.30% stake in the company for INR 43.43 Cr by the end of Q2 of FY 2021-22 and will complete the remaining tranche in FY 2021-22.
Founded by Sreeram Reddy Vanga, OpenPlay offers skills games such as fantasy sports, quiz, rummy and others. It operates a platform offering multiple games to gamers and influencers, enabling the latter to host tournaments for gamers.
“The OpenPlay acquisition offers an opportunity for Nazara to build a network of skill gaming destinations operating on one common tech platform under the proven leadership of Sreeram and his team at OpenPlay. Sreeram is a successful entrepreneur globally in online real money gaming and we are excited that he will be leading Nazara’s growth in this sector,” Nazara CEO Manish Agarwal said.
According to the company, OpenPlay currently has an annualised gross gaming revenue run rate of INR 80 Cr and is operating on EBITDA positive margins.
This is Nazara’s second acquisition after going public. Nazara had acquired a majority stake (69.82%) in Turkey and West Asia based mobile gaming publishing agency, Publishme in June this year. The deal was valued at around INR 20 Cr. The acquisition was aimed at helping Nazara improve its international footprint, especially in the regions of Turkey and other West Asian countries.
Nazara’s other acquisitions include:
- In July of 2020, the gaming giant acquired 51% stake in Mumbai-based Paper Boat Apps, the creator and publisher of Kiddopia for INR 83.5 Cr.
- Nazara acquired a majority stake in fantasy gaming platform HalaPlay by acquiring Kae Capital’s stake worth INR 14.6 Cr in 2019. Later in April of 2021, Nazara acquired 64.70% stake in the company.
- In 2019, Nazara had acquired a 67% stake for INR 44 Cr in the sports news website SportsKeeda.
- In 2018, it picked a 55% stake in the country’s esports venue called NODWIN Gaming to build intellectual properties in esports in emerging markets across disciplines such as soccer, cricket, and other traditional sports.
- To offer engaging and interactive games for kids, Nazara acquired a majority stake in Sports Unity, the developer of multi-player quiz game Qunami for INR 7.5 Cr.
- In 2017, the gaming company acquired a majority stake in Chennai-based NextWave Multimedia to strengthen its portfolio of offerings in the virtual interactive sports genre in India and other emerging markets.
- Nazara also holds a minority share of 27.42% in quiz platform CrimzonCode.
It’s worth noting that Kiddopia contributed to INR 52.1 Cr of the company’s operations revenue in Q1 of FY22 and its esports vertical that comprise NODWIN Gaming and Sportskeeda was the biggest contributor to the company’s to the tune of INR 53.2 Cr in Q1 of FY22.
Nazara became the first Indian gaming firm to go public in March this year. The company’s INR 581 Cr initial public offering was oversubscribed 175 times and listed at INR 1,670.70 which was at a premium of 80% to the issue price.
Started by Nitish Mittersain in 2000, Nazara at present boasts of having a presence in India and across emerging and developed global markets such as Africa and North America, with offerings across interactive gaming, esports and gamified early learning ecosystems.
Nazara had posted a consolidated net profit (attributable to owners of the company) of INR 5.3 Cr in Q1 of FY22, an increase from the INR 27.9 Cr loss it posted in the Q1 of FY21. In terms of revenue from the operations, the company posted INR 131.2 Cr in Q1 of FY22, a 45% rise from INR 90.5 Cr in the same quarter last year.
The company registered an EBITDA margin of 23% in the first quarter of FY22, whereas it was in the negative last financial year during the same period. In Q1 of FY22, the company posted an EBITDA of INR 30.1 Cr as against (-) INR 13.4 Cr in the Q1 of FY21.